Weight Lifting Belts And Squats

Posted in Fitness by quadriceps on November 20, 2010
Tags: ,
high-bar back squat

Do you have lower-back muscles like this? If not, you can benefit from using a weight lifting belt

Squats are a great exercise for building full-body strength. But for untrained individuals, they can be hard on the lower back.

Most adults who are trying to make the transition from a relatively sedentary lifestyle to that of a fitness enthusiast are not flexible enough to squat properly. This is especially true when they try to squat with a loaded barbell across their back.

Until you develop proper mobility in your joints — and flexibility in your hamstrings — your squats will wrench your lower back out of alignment. That’s not good.

Weight training and flexibility training are two sides of the same coin. You can’t improve as a weight lifter unless you simultaneously work on your flexibility.

But if you’re fully flexible, with proper mobility in all your joints during the weight lifting movements like the squat, you can still have lower-back problems. This is because the lower back is the weak link that holds back your ability to squat ever-increasing poundages.

That’s where a weight lifting belt and squats are two sides of another important coin. With a weight lifting belt, you take a lot of stress off your lower back muscles. This means you can lift more weight, since the other parts of your body that are heavily involved in the squat usually get stronger and more capable much more quickly than the muscles of the lower back.

So to get better at squats, keep two things in mind: you need to be sufficiently flexible, and once you are flexible, you can benefit from wearing a weight lifting belt to give your slow-growing lower-back muscles a rest during some of your squat workouts.


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